January 21 - Thousands take to the streets again in Israel to protest Netanyahu


Jan 21, 2024. Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas


Tel Aviv.

Thousands of people demonstrated in Israel on Saturday against the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Participants at a rally in Tel Aviv demanded an immediate end to the war in Gaza in order to free the more than 100 hostages still held by Hamas.


"Stop the fighting, pay the price!" Israeli media quoted one of the speakers, whose cousin is among the hostages, as saying.


Following an initial exchange of 105 hostages for 240 Palestinian prisoners at the end of November, Hamas has said it won't release the remaining hostages abducted from southern Israel on October 7 until Israel's military withdraws from the Gaza Strip.


Netanyahu and his fellow campaigners, however, say that Hamas needs to be defeated militarily to secure the release of the remaining hostages.


In the northern port city of Haifa, several hundred supporters of the left-wing Chadash party demanded the prime minister's resignation on Saturday. Several hundred people also took to the streets in Jerusalem against the Netanyahu government.


In front of Netanyahu's home in the coastal town of Caesarea, 50 kilometres north of Tel Aviv, relatives of the hostages and supporters had started a permanent protest on Friday evening.


"We expect serious people...to come out and give us real answers about how our loved ones are doing," the Haaretz newspaper quoted a hostage's relative as saying in its online edition.


Hamas and other extremist groups attacked southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and kidnapping around 240.


Israel responded to the worst massacre in its history with massive airstrikes and a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip. Currently, 136 hostages are still being held in the coastal area. Israel assumes that around 25 of them are no longer alive.